Huguette Clark's Bellosguardo begins to open to the public with an inaugural fundraising event

Breaking news in the Huguette Clark world: The Bellosguardo Foundation, which is managing the oceanfront estate in Santa Barbara of the reclusive copper heiress from our book Empty Mansions, has created a website and announced an inaugural event on October 13.

Individual tickets go on sale on August 15, or you can donate $1,500 up to $50,000 to be assured of attending.

The website announces "the first celebration to take place on the property in over 60 years. Now that the administration of Mrs. Clark's estate is complete, it is time to begin the next chapter in the story of this extraordinary property. To celebrate, our Event Committee is busy creating an elegant, Gatsbyesque soiree, showcasing both the estate's history and its potential. Santa Barbara has indeed been blessed with the gift of this historic, twenty-four acre, oceanfront property. Few estates match its majesty, beauty and fascinating history. The Foundation looks to honor Clark's legacy and ensure that Bellosguardo becomes a focal point for arts and culture for generations to come. This event will raise much needed funds so that we may continue to maintain the house, grounds and collections, as we move forward with our larger vision and open the property to the public. We hope to see you at what will be a magnificent evening of cocktails and bountiful hors d'oeuvres under the stars, as we celebrate this glorious estate in all its 1920s splendor.... Huguette has bequeathed the property to the Bellosguardo Foundation, which is committed to both honoring the Clarks' past, and building a future where the estate can be enjoyed by all as a focal point for the arts. Realizing that future will take time and commitment, but the fruits of that labor will be well worth the effort."

Here's the new website for the Bellosguardo Foundation.